With many people choosing to vaccinate against Covid-19, the possibility of safer and healthier travel is closer to reality. However, being vaccinated does not ensure that you will not be affected by the virus, and there are certain health precautions, such as wearing masks, that we still need to take. When it comes to travel, here are five must-haves I think all travelers should have post-covid-19.
No matter how much the airline tries to clean and sanitize an airplane, the short timing between deplaning and reboarding an airplane does not seem guaranteed to sanitize the aircraft thoroughly. Therefore, having your sanitizing wipes and sanitizing your seatbelt, tray table, armrest, and general area, would be a more intelligent and healthier choice.
Post covid, wearing a face mask has become more of a fashion statement in addition to a measure of health safety. When traveling, it is advisable to use disposable masks to change often rather than the pretty fashionable ones you tend to use at home. Stylish face masks are great for use when at home because you can wash them often. When traveling, cleaning your masks is not usually an option, and disposable masks can be a safer, healthier, and economical choice when traveling.
In addition to sanitizer gel, sanitizer spray is also another excellent option for travel. Travelers can use sanitizer spray to disinfect surfaces without coming into direct contact with surfaces. They are now available in travel sizes, and travelers can make homemade solutions to fit travel-sized containers.
Using gloves when disinfecting surfaces is just another precaution to take from coming into contact with infected surfaces. Travelers can use a disposable glove when wiping down their seatbelt, tray table, or armrests, and even when they go to the restroom to sanitize toilet seats or accessing toilet seat covers. Gloves are just another way to minimize your contact with items that might be infected.
Consider the ramifications of pressing the button that everyone else pushes for dispensing soap after using the bathroom but before washing their hands. Having personal travel soap can make for even less avoidable contact. There are now tiny travel packets of soap flakes available that are small enough to carry in your purse.
Travel realities have changed post covid, and travelers now have a few more precautions to consider when traveling to avoid becoming sick. Have you changed the health precautions you now take for travel? Let me know.
Having flown as a career for over 20 years I have stayed in many hotel rooms and so the experience has taught me a lot about what to look out for in terms of cleanliness.
1. Check the hotel sheets. No one wants to sleep on possible dirty covid sheets. I can’t tell you how many different times I have gone into a hotel room just dying to shower and get into bed and found that the sheets have not been changed. If you do this when you first get into the hotel room, there is plenty of opportunity for the hotel to fix the issue before you are ready to go to bed.
2. Make sure the sheets are visibly dirty before you check out of the hotel and prevent any possible Covid spread. I think it’s just a matter of kindness to the next guest and just plain hygienic. Don’t feel bad as the hotel should automatically be doing this anyhow. I always wiped the bottom of my shoe across the sheets before I checked out.
3.Place a face towel or hand towel on the bathroom counter to place all your items on. Especially in this time of covid you do not want to transfer any germs to your face or hands. It’s also a visual reminder of anything placed on the counter and it helps in not forgetting items like jewelry in the bathroom.
4. Take an extra washcloth and wipe the toilet seats down. I think we all assume that the hotel room has been cleaned thoroughly but my experience has shown that the toilet seat is often overlooked.
5. Treat hotel room floors like airplane bathrooms and never assume it’s just water. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed through hotel corridors and seen the remains of a hotel room party gone wild. Let’s face it, the hotel does not have the manpower or capability to thoroughly clean hotel room floors, nor do they often have time between checkouts. Covid can be easily spread through bodily fluids.
I hope my tips have been helpful, check back in for more of my lived travel experience.
As an avid world traveler who has done this both professionally and personally, my carry-on is always semi-packed. Here are my tips and advice on the 5 items I consider must-haves and should always be in my carry on.
1. A lingerie organizer bag (details on another blog post). The one I use has two sides, one for clean underwear and the other for dirty. You never want to get them confused!
2. An electronic organizer bag (blog post coming). With people being so connected it is so inconvenient to lose connectivity and most hotels do not provide enough power outlets for the technology we use in our daily lives.
3. A toothbrush which in my opinion is even more needed than the electronic organizer. Many people pack this in their suitcase but with the chances of your luggage being lost, I like to always have this at hand.
4. A medicine bag with items like Tums, ibuprofen, cold medicine, etc. I tend to also have eye masks, face masks, prescription medications, band-aids, Neosporin, alcohol pads, and such (more on another post).
5. Finally I always have a small makeup bag with the basics like mascara, lip moisturizer, lipstick, makeup remover cloths, toner, and face moisturizer. These are always found at beauty supply stores and pharmacies in travel sizes.
You make have other priorities for your carry-on. If so, what are they? I’d love to find out.
I spent twenty-three years in the airline industry as a flight attendant. Many of those first years I was often the only person of color on the crew. Therefore, my experiences in being looked at differently have been more than eye-opening.
My career started in the late ’80s and people of color travelers were not as prevalent as they now are. As a flight attendant, I had the privilege of standby travel, which meant I flew somewhat free, but that meant I got any seat not taken by a paying passenger (more on another blog post). Often it was the dreaded middle seat, the least desired seat near the restroom, or even on a flight attendant jumpseat, which is often right next to the restroom. I traveled plenty but not often comfortably.
As I began to travel more for pleasure than work, I often chose to fly in premium cabins. I had often heard the refrain “you get there at the same time so why does it matter?” My choice had a lot to do with the fact that in a premium cabin I could expect the type of service I paid for, or in some cases demand it. I say demand because often while traveling as a person of color, there appear to be assumptions that people of color don’t deserve service, much less premium service.
There were many times when the announcement was made for premium cabin boarding, and I would be almost pushed out of the way or looked over by others who did not expect me to be in a premium cabin. Gate agents would often look at me and reiterate the boarding announcement as if I was hard of hearing. Flight attendants would demand to see my boarding card if I paused in the premium cabin to put my bags away. The many acts of travel bias and microaggression often left me with a less than pleasant travel experience.
Have you had similar experiences? If not a person of color, have you ever noticed it? I’d love to hear about your experiences and your thoughts.